There is an arbor as a gateway
to the path to our front door.
Honeysuckle vines – two kinds –
were planted, one each side, to
grow and twine themselves
over and between the lattice.
“Welcome,” says the sign, that
hangs beneath the transom
of the arbor. The sign now
hangs askew, tilted by the weight,
unequal, between the two vines.
Our “Welcome” seems a mite “off.”
We had a plan when we extended
our invitation to all comers. The
sweet-scented, golden wild honeysuckle
would climb up and through the painted
patterned wood, meeting, then knitting itself
with the orange blossoms of the hybrid.
Yet, as lovely as the arbor is,
as perfectly as our plan was realized
by the God of all growing things,
our “Welcome” does not hang straight.
Will visitors, invited or not, step back to ponder,
before ducking beneath the trailing vines?
Would we welcome them with delight –
in the warmth of the word when first
we offered our symbolic invitation, was it
merely obligation, off-the-cuff, and
insincere, expecting a grateful decline?
Is the “Welcome” as crooked as the sign?
The hybrid’s leg of the arbor bends away,
off-center, challenging us to re-set, shim,
equalize the sides, that would make straight
through our garden, a highway to our door,
We rehang the sign, shifting the chain that
holds our Damoclean “Welcome” in suspension.
We have left it alone, for now, at least,
Believing, as we throw open wide our
door, extending hands to all who would
chance the crooked, rocky path, beneath
the crooked sign, will make their way
and find their choice to come well-made.
A sign of Welcome, made of strung together
letters, heavy iron, weathered by time,
means little beyond the intention of
the one who hung it there, upon the
crooked arbor, a gateway to the door
of our desire that all might, well, come.
Indeed, I welcome all comers, who chance by here to read
my odd conglomeration of pithy and/or silly, and/or wordy stuff.
I hope that what I’ve written here has not failed to meet the need
you feel perhaps to read my words, as long as there are just enough. . .